Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Out of Character

I did something a bit out of character today.

I contacted a total stranger because I felt he was making really spot-on observations and comments in a public mailing list. For once, I let curiosity get the better of me and I fired off an email because this guy was like a lone voice in the wilderness on that mailing list, and there was real meat in his insights.

The happy result after a quick flurry of e-mail exchanges? We're now contacts on LinkedIn.

* * *

For most of this evening, I've been trying to figure out why I feel really pleased about the way things turned out. I guess hovering at the back of my mind was the possibility that my first email would be perceived as intrusive; after all, it was unsolicited and I'd not had any interactions with that person before (we both mostly lurk in the list). I honestly did not imagine that we'd end up swapping virtual business cards.

There's also the fact that I rarely initiate conversations with strangers online, especially when I have no clue as to who they are. It's just not in my nature.

After some reflection, I attribute my out-of-character behavior to the fact that I've been more actively participating in conversations in the blogosphere over the past few months. I really think that my frequent participation in other blogs has re-conditioned my online interaction style enough that sending that initial email almost seemed like the natural thing to do.

* * *

I am suddenly remembering very strongly why I so much enjoyed BBSing during my college days. This new interaction is giving off pretty much the same kind of vibe as those old Fidonet bulletin boards.